The Stack Archive News Article

Silicon Valley investment into UK tech firms highest in Europe

Mon 30 Oct 2017

The UK leads the way in terms of investment from Silicon Valley, raising more money from venture capitalists in the Bay Area than any other European country, according to a new study.

Following research carried out by London & Partners, technology companies in the UK have raised more funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firms than Germany, France and Ireland combined in the past five years.

The news comes in spite of fears over the impact of Brexit on foreign investment, with a record $1.13 billion (approx. £860 million) raised in 2017 so far. More than 90% of that investment has been into tech companies based in London.

Unsurprisingly, technology investment in the UK, and Europe as a whole, is extremely London-centric. Further analysis of the data shows that in the past five years, tech firms in London alone have raised $2.5 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in Stockholm, $641 million in Berlin, and half a billion in Paris.

Separate research from investment firm GP Bullhound has found that these numbers have been given a significant boost by the frequency of unicorns founded and based in London – a private startup worth more than $1 billion.

Of 53 European unicorns, 17 were founded in London, more than in Stockholm, Berlin and Paris combined. Firms such as Deliveroo and Purple Bricks recently joined the list of London unicorns.

GP Bullhound CEO, Manish Madhvani, commented: “London’s digital economy has demonstrated unprecedented levels of talent, ambition, and investment, delivering an exceptional cohort of billion-dollar businesses.

“These pioneers have been critical to the rise of European tech and will drive the industry forward to create companies of scale to rival the US and Asia.”

Despite the news, the European technology investment scene is still competitive. Following the election of pro-business Emmanuel Macron, himself a former investment banker, there has been a strong push towards investment in startups in France, including from the state itself.

As well as this, Ireland has seen significant data centre investment in recent years, from major companies such as Apple, which recently finally had its Athenry facility approved after long delays. Investment has been rapid enough that the country’s electricity network is forecast to struggle to meet demand.

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